Blogging is an amazing, interesting world. It’s funny how your mindset evolves as your journey as a blogger does. When I first started out, I never had any inclination I wanted to go pro, there was no plan. But as my blog began to grow as did its perceived value and the brands wanting to be “featured” on it, and as I spent more time writing, I began to wonder like many bloggers…if I should be expected to write for free?
What I mean exactly is this – if I am writing about something that I truly want to write about, that has jumped out of my own heart, or out of mind own mind, then yes of course, then why should that change whether I want to write for free?
But increasingly as your worth improves as a blogger, you begin to be inundated with requests to have this brand featured, or this infographic shared, or that thingamigy reviewed. Bloggers are included on press circulation lists sitting cheek by jowl by PAID journalists. In many instances they have far greater influencer statuses than said journalists. Journalists get paid by the publications they work for. They earn. But how are bloggers supposed to earn if they are for the most part met with replies of “sorry, no budget” or “could you feature this as a favour”?
Of course, some PRs DO have some budget, but many do still operate out on the “no budget” frontier.
So this leaves us in an awkward position…how and where are we supposed to get paid from? Should we be seen therefore more as advertisers providing native advertising avenues, or do we really fall into the PR domain?
I think the answer is that we are probably a hybrid but one thing I do know is that understanding the blogging domain, as a relatively new way of making money, has still got a long way to go.
I really would love to get a conversation going about this, and so here are four other bloggers with their views on whether bloggers should be expected write for free:
Louise from Pink Pear Bear says…
“A blog is such a personal thing, I have written about places I love purely because I feel they deserve a mention and I think others would benefit from my experience. I definitely don’t think that we should be ‘expected’ to write for free though, I put an awful lot of time & effort into blogging & a company would not expect their advertising executives to work for free so why should we? It’s definitely personal choice but if a big company is looking for advertising from a blog that has been built up with hours and hours of hard work, they should totally pay for the bloggers’ services.”
Tattooed Mummy says…
“I don’t think it’s wrong to choose what you write for. You might write for money, for a day out, for goodies, for exposure or just for fun, and all are fine. Bloggers should be allowed to make a decision without feeling “bad”. A new blogger may think that a huge brand show casing them is worth a 30 minute blog post, where a bigger blog wouldn’t. That’s fine. One day you might write for a candy bar another for £200. Still fine. I think you need to know your worth and stick to it politely. Everyone needs to pay the bills, but sometimes you can afford to blog for less for something you love.”
Chantal from Two Hearts One Roof says…
“We should be able to chose what we write for, there isn’t a wrong or right answer as such, many of us don’t blog for money but we do like to be appreciated and feel we aren’t always working just to help the massive international companies for free. its just a little unfair when big companies approach bloggers expecting us to put in a few hours work for nothing in return! They spend thousands on marketing in magazines and other forms of media but often seem so disgruntled to have to pay hard working bloggers in any way when our public reach is often very good!
And with people appreciating honest reviews of products more and more our value is only increasing. You always feel a little better about a company when they show that they value the bloggers/general public enough to pay for our time or at least give us something in return for promoting or reviewing their product or brand. Many companies throw things at ‘celebrities’ just for the chance to be ‘seen’ yet bloggers who put actual effort into our sites, publicity, marketing and posts are totally undervalued!”
Laura from Waffle Mama says…
“I write for free when it is something I choose, something I’m passionate about. If I’m approached by a brand though, I would expect some kind of payment/incentive unless it was a review – otherwise it’s just free advertising. We all want to make money and companies wouldn’t just hand out products or services for nothing and we shouldn’t be expected to do the same.”
So what do you think? Should bloggers be expected to write for free? Please join in the conversation with a comment below I’d love to hear your thoughts…
***Did this post resonate with you? Please give it a little share on Facebook or Twitter to get the conversation going!”